Hard-Fought Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Championship Battles Continue at Road America

Jesse LazareThe battle for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship will resume Aug. 5-7 at Road America for Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2016 season.

Jesse Lazare and Lucas Catania have been the stars of the Platinum Cup title race since splitting the first two rounds in mid-March at Sebring International Raceway. Lazare, the top returning driver this season, took the victory in Round 1 with Catania winning Round 2 for his first series victory.

Lazare rolled off four consecutive wins after the second round, in which he had an unfortunate puncture, to close the gap to points leader Catania. Lazare took the lead after Rounds 7 and 8 on Fourth of July weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Montreal resident Lazare leads the series standings with 133 points and five wins in the No. 21 Porsche prepared by Kelly-Moss Road and Race, based in Madison, Wisconsin. Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, is second with 117 points in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport entry.

Round 9 will start at 4:40 p.m. (CT) Saturday, Aug. 6. Round 10 will begin at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Both rounds are 45 minutes. There will be two practices Friday, with qualifying at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Racing is divided into two classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the 2014-2016 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current seventh, and current, generation of the street car, and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2010-2013) of the race car. A Masters Championship is also conducted in the Platinum Class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.

The multi-class structure of the series teaches drivers essential skills for an eventual career in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship or professional GT races worldwide.

Catania has only a three-point lead on Andrew Longe, from Naples, Florida, in third place with 114 points. Longe earned his first series victory in Round 8 at Watkins Glen in the No. 47 Wright Motorsports Porsche.

There is an intriguing battle shaping up for the Platinum Masters championship between two Texas rivals. 2015 Gold Cup and Gold Masters champion Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, has four class wins and leads the class with 135 points. His lead is only one point over fellow Texan Fred Poordad, from San Antonio. Poordad has two wins, includuing one in Round 8 at Watkins Glen in early July in a Wright Motorsports entry.

Mosing’s TOPP Racing teammate, David Baker, from Colleyville, Texas, is in third place with 107 points. He has finished on the podium in three of the last six races.

Competition in the Gold Cup class is also tight, with the top three drivers within 18 points. Michael de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, leads the class with 138 points and four wins in an Alegra Motorsports entry. Michael Levitas, from Baltimore, is second at 132 points with one class win and seven podium finishes. Levitas’ TPC Racing teammate, Sebastian Landy of Falls Church, Virginia, is third with 120 points and three class wins.

Philip Bloom, from New York, is also in the hunt in his first season in the series with 98 points in a Wright Motorsports Porsche.

All drivers in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama compete in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car based on the street version of the current Porsche 911. The 3.8-liter power unit featured in the 911 GT3 Cup car produces 460 horsepower and a maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm. The 911 GT3 Cup also includes a new Porsche six-speed sequential gearbox with a mechanical slip differential, with an electropneumatic paddle shift system creating faster, more efficient gear changes.

Braking also is confident in the 911 GT3 Cup through an endurance-derived system, and stability is provided by an optimized chassis with a wheelbase 100 millimeters longer than its predecessor.

The engines and transmissions of all the cars in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama are prepared and sealed by Porsche Motorsports North America, creating a level playing field on which driving talent and team setup skill prevail.

IMSA sanctions an eight-venue, 16-round schedule for the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. The series runs 14 of its 16 rounds during WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events, including at Road America.

All events consist of two 45-minute sprint races.

Tight competition on great circuits in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama has launched many drivers and teams to success in higher levels of professional sports car racing over the last decade. Among those talented drivers are 2012 Platinum Cup champion Sean Johnston, a full-time competitor in 2013-14 in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, 2013 Platinum Cup champion Madison Snow, a full-time competitor in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge standouts Ashley Freiberg and 2015 champion Elliott Skeer.

Schedule

Practice: 9-9:30 a.m. (CT) and 1:30-2:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5

Qualifying: 8-8:20 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

Round 9 (45 minutes): 4:40-5:25 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

Round 10 (45 minutes): 11:15 a.m. – noon Sunday, Aug. 7

Driver Autograph Session: 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Location TBD

Source. LST Marketing

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